Posts Tagged ‘Festival’

New Year’s Celebrations

December 31, 2012

When I was a young child of about seven-eight years; New Year’s Eve was a concept I did not quite understand. I could not see what all the fuss was about in celebrating the end of a year, and the beginning of a new one. But the fact that I did not understand it in no way lessened the amount of fun I had. My father worked for the Indian army thus, I religiously accompanied my parents to the Army Club in whichever posting my father held at the time. And there was lots of food, unlimited beverages, dancing, and fireworks.

In my teens, I began to understand the concept a bit better. And my definition of a fun new year’s eve also changed, evolved. I would still be at the Army Club, but this time, having fun without my parents’ strict supervision. You see, the opposite sex had got involved in my life by now! As a young, spirited teen, new year’s eve became about the prospect of a magical romance, a flirtation, a fling with one of many sweet girls at these new year’s eve parties.

Time went on and in my college years I moved to Mumbai to study. New year’s eve was now about wild parties with lots of music, drinking, and merry making; all in the company of a girlfriend-at-the-time. It was awesome fun. Our big gang would seek out the cheapest (preferably free) parties and dance the night away, without a care in the world. Ah! Those carefree college days, never to return, but always so much fun!

Then the biggest shift, literally and figuratively, of my life. I moved to the UK, and have been living and working here ever since. And though by my own confession and voluntary doing, I am now a happily in love, married, settled family man with children; New Year’s eve each year brings back all those memories from home in India. Be it Chandigarh, Patiala, Fort William in Kolkata, or the Ghetto, as my vintage people in Bombay would remember – each phase was delightful and memorable.

When I accompany my wife and kids today to a New year’s eve party in Wimbledon all my memories come rushing back. I feel pride, nostalgia, everything combined. And this year will be no different. Only I have matured in age & experience and my enjoyment has changed, as I chaperon my own kids as my parents did with me once!

 

Navratri

October 16, 2012

It is that time of the year again! The days filled with joy and the night with dance. It’s Navratri!

This is one festival that I will always hold close to my heart, simply because of the memories attached to it. Back home, in Gujarat, these nine days were the most enjoyable. I remember the stories my grandmother told us children about the worshipping of the three Goddesses. During the day women dresses up in sarees according to the colour of the day… The sight was just beautiful with all women wearing the same colour. The night was magnificent. Everyone wore their best outfits and came to play the ‘Dhandiya’. The music and the rhythm with which you hear feet move and sticks meet is something quite unexplainable.

While I do miss the times I spent back home, it would be wrong for me to say that the festival isn’t celebrated with the same gusto here in the US. Being here does not make me feel homesick completely; thanks to our community here. We celebrate these nine days with as much enthusiasm as we would have in India. The music is the same, the food, the way we dress… It all brings a certain feeling of togetherness in the community where everyone absolutely lets loose and enjoys themselves thoroughly throughout this festival. And it is not all about fun. Rituals are followed as well.

As much as I would love to be with my family back home during this time, I cannot complain because I do have a little family here too!


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